Meet Himjyoti Talukdar – the maker of award winning Assamese film ‘Calendar’
GUWAHATI: Himjyoti Talukdar, a phenomenal writer/director from Assam, has to his credit the award winning film ‘Calendar’. The film, that received seven awards at Prag Cine Awards North East 2018 including 'Best Debut Director', revolves around the lives of a retired teacher and his wife. The key roles in the film were essayed by Arun Nath, Moloya Goswami, Gunjan Bhardwaj and Rimjhim Deka among others. Luckily for Himjyoti, he got to work with eminent veteran actors of the industry in his debut film itself.
The debutant director, however, has been associated with the Assamese entertainment industry for quite a while now. In 2016, he ventured into Assamese filmmaking with ‘Marksheet’ where he was the writer and co-producer. With ‘Marksheet’, Himjyoti gained practical experience in filmmaking for the first time and thus began his film career. He has also written a documentary named ‘Till We Meet Again Parag,’ based on the life of prominent journalist late Parag Kumar Das.
Hailing from Biswanath Chariali, Himjyoti completed his school education in Chariali HSMP School. After completing his graduation in Economics from Biswanath College, he moved to New Delhi for his Master of Business Administration course. He completed MBA in Human Resource and Post Graduation Program in Marketing from Cosmic Business School.
“I’ve had a keen interest in cinema since childhood. But the interest grew in Delhi where I explored a different cinematic world. There, I regularly attended film festivals and got the chance to watch world movies as well as different regional cinemas. Watching them, my interest towards the behind-the-camera activities grew,” recollected Himjyoti, while speaking to G Plus.
An independent filmmaker par excellence, Himjyoti has had no formal education or training in the field. Instead, he learnt the art by reading different books and watching YouTube channels on filmmaking.
Himjyoti is known as the man responsible behind the online archive of Assamese culture. In 2010, he decided to create Enajori, a webzine that would focus on the social and cultural heritage of Assam.
“While pursuing my post graduation course in management, I realised the lack of web contents regarding the rich Assamese heritage and culture. So I started working on preserving them digitally and finally launched enajori.com in 2010 as the first bilingual web magazine from Assam,” Himjyoti told G Plus.
Ever since the launch of enajori, Himjyoti has launched three more subsequent websites under the same banner – all aimed at preserving the cultural and literary heritage of Assam. While xurorenajori.info contains old Assamese songs, sahityarathi.com is dedicated to the literary works of Lakshminath Bezbaroa, and dipalibarthakur.info is a tribute website based on the life and works of Assamese singer Dipali Barthakur.
In 2016, he launched an android app under enajori.com initiative as Sahityarathi which contains literary works of Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa.
Himjyoti’s enajori.com was listed as one of world’s top five e-projects on cultural heritage by ICNM, Austria and won World Summit Award 2013 held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The initiative also won him different awards Manthan South Asia & Asia Pacific Awards E- North East Awards etc.
Having been closely associated with the Assamese entertainment industry for a while now, Himjyoti believes that in this era of Netflix and Amazon, the Assamese entertainment industry needs to upgrade itself. He says, “We need to focus more on creating good content that can attract viewers, whether it is cinema, television soaps or mobile theatres. The Assamese entertainment industry lacks audience, proper infrastructure, as well as policies. So, the only way to make people come to the cinemas is by producing quality content.”
“Film is a business, and we must focus on its business angles to make the Assamese entertainment industry prosperous,” he added.
Nevertheless, with a new brigade of filmmakers emerging from this region and many of them receiving international accolades, Himjyoti believes that Assamese films will rule the international film circuit very soon.
After the successful run of ‘Calendar’, Himjyoti is now preparing the script for his next project which, he informed G Plus, will be based on a story by prominent author Late Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia.